Firstly, I apologise once again to Sol Smith for how long it’s taken me to get around to this review. Things, as I’ve said a thousand times, have been hectic, so my apologies, and thank you Sol for the opportunity to read your book and for your patience – I feel quite honoured.
Author: Sol Smith
Genre: Young Adult Fiction: Metaphysical
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Jupiter Gardens Press (January 13, 2009)
PURCHASE: Click the Book Cover image to buy direct from the publisher, or purchase from Amazon.com
Abigail is your average teenage student. Well, no – in fact, she’s not average at all. Abbie is Wiccan, and holds knowledge beyond her years. In the beginning of the book, we find Abbie at the Principal’s office for speaking out against the teachers when discussing the Witch Trials. This immediately sets up Abbie as a strong-willed, unfrightened young woman.
But Abbie has other frustrations and problems at home. Her mother passed away from illness, leaving Abbie and her father behind. Abbie still often sees and speaks to her mother, but she misses her more with every new day.
Following the turmoil of the loss of her mother, Abbie has to face further issues when her father meets a new woman (Teri) whom he wishes to marry, and Abbie suffers the heartache of unrequited love for her male best friend, Vic, whom she slept with “in a moment of either intense passion, or extreme boredom”. Furthermore, Erica, another teen witch in the area, appears to be fighting for the love of Vic, whilst attempting to maintain a friendship with Abbie, but it can be surprising as to what Erica is actually after…
So imagine her excitement when Abbie’s imaginary big sister from her childhood, Traveler, comes to life to give her guidance after Abbie moves her mother’s old bed into her own room. Abbie undergoes changes; first, she dyes her hair black and then, during a divination session, Erica notices Abbie’s eyes have changed from dark brown to green. These are the first of many changes, both physical and spiritual, that Abbie goes through. Unfortunately, Traveler’s “guidance” is misleading, and she guides Abbie to believe her friends are no longer trustworthy, and coerces her to place negative spells upon them. Abbie’s life becomes so confusing that she asks Traveler to take over for her; she no longer wants to make the decisions and wants to start over. Traveler agrees wholeheartedly, and further turmoil ensues…
The Traveler is a gripping tale of a young woman facing normal, teenage issues. As a young woman, I can personally relate to Abbie’s story – the heartache, the feeling of not belonging, the friendship battles. The Witchcraft in her life is shown as that – it’s her life, and it isn’t at all a separate ‘hobby’ or ‘pasttime’ of Abbie’s; she lives and breathes the Craft. There’s no ‘fluffy bunny’ material in this story as far as I’m concerned, and in fact is a great read for lessons on the consequences of our actions. Similar to the film ‘The Craft’ in that the truth can be somewhat stretched in some parts (an imaginary friend physically taking over your body is rare), the lessons are real and the story is (mostly) believable. Whether or not it was intended, I see Abbie’s interactions with Traveler as a metaphor – a “battling with our inner demons”-type deal.
I loved this book, and whilst I admit that it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read (I think I’m still yet to find that one!), it will be a book I will read numerous times over.
I rate this book 4 out of 5 pentacles: